Friday, July 30, 2010

What is Feminine?

*Quick note: I will be doing a few blogs on some questions within comments from previous posts . I just want to take time to really think about them before I respond. So in the mean time...*

I was curious how would you define feminine?

I looked it up in the Webster's dictionary and this is what it said: Feminine: 1. Of the female sex also: characteristic of, or, appropriate or peculiar to women 2. Of, relating to, or constituting the gender that includes most words or grammatical forms referring to females – femininity:  Feminine (n): a noun, pronoun, adjective or inflectional form or class of the feminine gender also: the feminine gender

Feminine in my understanding is truly defined by cultural norms, expectations, religious traditions, media definitions, and historical views.

So I pose this question what is the definition of Feminine in the year 2010? I have my ideas, but am curious as to what you think...(be careful not what you want it to be defined as, but what it really looks like in today's society - I have a feeling these are very different definitions and distinctions)


Super Spy For Jesus said...

Feminine- that is a hard one. Being the first commenter on this topic I probably won't be as profound as all those that follow :) I do believe that what it really means is being allowed to embrace being the woman that God has made you to be.

Because some would say it is wrapped up in our sexuality. Some think to appear to be "feminine" is to be week so they run away from frills or makeup.

We think it is wrapped up in what we wear or don't wear for our clothes. Sneakers are not as "feminine" as stilleto heals.

The problem is that our cluture has so ingrained in us that feminine equals the perfect (airbrushed) woman in a magazine with the perfect curves and eyelashes and our backs arched ever so slightly.

But then in an effort to be seen for our brains and who we are I have heard women say: "I don't want to be too feminine."

The problem with running from the norm is that we often run right back into it.

So I think that as women we should try to peel back the layers of who we are and allow ourselves to embrace who God made us to be. What do we like about ourselves?

I like pink. But I like to wear brown and blue alot also. I am a t- shirt and jeans sort of gal. But this summer I have fallen in love with sundresses.

I am not sure any of that makes me feminine or not.

I just know that I am a woman. There are things about me that are different from men. At one point in an effort to prove to the world that I was just as good as they are I was unable to ever ask for help. Sometimes I need help- even from men.

Turtle Woman said...

I've never been all that interested in the words feminine or masculine, since both are socially constructed roles largely.

What I have always been interested in is women in our greatest intellectual power. Or in our great battle for freedom on our own terms with no compromise, no slavery, and the idea that we don't yet know what women are capable of outside male supremacy, or the male gaze.

So I love to see how women think and interact with each other, and how we move each other to a greater sense of physical power and intellectual greatness.

I'm thinking of how physically strong women became in my lifetime, whereas in the past, men actually believed that sports would unmake women.

What is women's power or the power of the feminine on women's own terms? How do we find that exaulted freedom, that great leap of intellectual virtuosity?

What does god look like in complete harmony with the greatest good for women? And how would god the feminine move us to do something new in the world?

I have always been inspired by women of courage, and the most powerful women on earth have that ability to be fully themselves. To do this, to not submit to male definitions of women, and to in fact be free of that tyranny is a noble calling. What would women have to do for each other that would creative this atmosphere of powerful feminine freedom? What would the world look like as women paid careful attention to each other's highest good?

To me, the most feminine thing is women's passionate conversations with each other-- it is our great gift of love and intimacy-- that's what truly sets us apart as unique in the world. It is this gift that we need to share more and more with each other in my opinion.

Nathalie A. said...

what a great question.
what is feminine? part of a dichtomy with masculinity. created as the "opposite" of masculinity. i agree it is shaped by cultural norms and expectations. to be feminine in US society is to be sweet, kind, soft, unimtimidating, demure, cute, attractive, pink, sexy when age appropriate, in shape, etc. what you see on fashion magazines that image that is tailored by size, hair color, race, social class

and by default to understand what feminine you have to understand what masculine is. as defined and created by US society: strong, "manly", powerful, sweaty, muscular, tough, assertive,

it's just sad that these labels fem or mas are defined the way they are, why can't feminine be strong, why can't masculine be emotional or sensitive? why is a strong powerful assertive women seen less feminine and exercising more masculine traits.

why is feminine seen as weaker than,

because fem/mas is tied to a gender which is tied to a sex, its limiting...

or may be its not. maybe its not sad. maybe...
so many questions...

Turtle Woman said...

When you live outside that whole male/female system, the world becomes radically different. You step outside the mainstream, you create your strongest most creative self, you unite with women on this dramatic adventurous journey out of Egypt, out of Pharoh's land to a freedom that is very real very passionate.